UK Liberty

Right to privacy vs. safety

Posted in database state, law and order by ukliberty on December 22, 2008

Good article by Lee Griffin at Liberal Conspiracy:

The right to a private and family life, it seems like such a simple request does it not? Yet it is taken for granted, and is a right that is readily abolished by our government and other agencies to ensure our “safety”. Are we really living in a world where we cannot be safe without giving up our right to a private life? Thankfully a couple of recent decisions, regarding the holding of DNA on a national DNA database and of being retained on the sex offenders register indefinitely, have had a huge impact on restoring the value to the Article 8 right of the ECHR. …

And of course he isn’t suggesting there shouldn’t be such a register at all.  That is what people such as Jacqui Smith would like you to think about people who raise such things for discussion: that if you are against how a particular system operates you are against all such systems.

Seeing things in such black and white terms is the the province of simpletons and the dishonest, and those who haven’t spent any time thinking about it.

What Lee is asking about is its necessity, its proportionality, what the possibilities are for review, how it distinguishes between offences and offenders, and so on.  All valid questions that to date have not been asked, let alone answered, by the Government – which merely states that it is ‘disappointed’ by any ruling that challenges them to answer such questions.  (They were also ‘disappointed’ by S & Marper.)

Although I disagree with this:

The reality is that these are issues the Home Office and our government need to start backing down on if they want to even have a peak at the chance of winning a fourth term.

Sadly, civil liberties aren’t among the important issues at election time.

Of course law and order is an important issue, but more in terms of how the political parties are trusted to deal with crime and criminals, rather than their policies on fingerprint and DNA databases, or monitoring our communications, etc.

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2 Responses

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  1. Lee Griffin said, on December 22, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Sadly you’re probably right on your final paragraph or so here…I was feeling somewhat optimistic at the time ;)

  2. ukliberty said, on December 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Happens to the best of us! ;)


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